Image quality for web-to-print

24/02/2008

Image quality is important for any web to print design. What looks good on the screen may look absolutely unacceptable in print.

Quality parameters

Color space: use CMYK for print, RGB for digital media only, gray-scale, monochrome, etc.
Image resolution: shows how many pixels the image has.
Perception: what the image looks like in the end.

Resolution for static images

Any static images (not to be replaced by users) in a web to print template need to be of production quality. The actual requirements differ depending on the type of print and product. A 2m by 2m billboard may be OK with RGB images @72dpi. An A4 poster is likely to need CMYK images @300dpi or more.

Resolution for variable images

Image placeholders (to be replaced by users) in a web to print template is used as a guide of what is required from the user.
The actual placeholder does not need to have production quality perception, but its color space and resolution need to be of productions quality.

Use of low grade images for placeholders

web to print - image quality
This image is in RGB @105dpi. Users will be asked to upload their image to replace this one. We can quickly change the image parameters without improving its perceptive quality, which is not important in this case.

Change color space

  • Click on the image
  • Go to Menu / Bitmap / Mode / CMYK

Change resolution

  • Click on the image
  • Go to Menu / Bitmap / Resample
  • Set the required resolution

The image still looks the same (bad) but the parameters are right. A user’s image is likely to look good enough if it meets the parameters we set.
web to print - imroved image quality

See also: